US 20080101328 A1
A method and system for video data delivery using GSM mobile systems is disclosed. In the absence of audio data, the audio transmission is turned off so that video data can be transmitted using close to the maximum bandwidth on the GSM network.
1. A computer-implemented method for video data delivery over GSM networks, the method comprising:
during a simultaneous transmission of audio and video data over a GSM network, automatically detecting if audio data is present for said transmission; and
if audio data is absent, then turning off a corresponding audio transmission and transmitting said video data at a frame rate to occupy a substantially maximum bandwidth of said GSM network.
2. The computer-implemented method of
3. The computer-implemented method of
4. The computer-implemented method of
5. The computer-implemented method of
6. A system for video data delivery over GSM networks, the system comprising:
one or more semiconductor chips suitable for embedding in a GSM mobile communications device, wherein said semiconductor chip is adapted for:
detecting for presence of audio data for transmission;
turning off an audio transmission whenever no audio data is detected; and
transmitting video data at a substantially maximum GSM bandwidth whenever said audio transmission is turned off.
7. The system of
8. The system of
The present invention is directed to mobile communications, and more specifically to video streaming data delivery over a GSM network in the context of mobile communications.
The Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) is a world-wide standard for digital wireless mobile telephones. Digital wireless telephone technology, in recent years, has advanced to 3G networks due to consumer demand for video telephony services. For all its popularity, GSM networks are unable to deliver video telephony services due to GSM's characteristic narrow bandwidth at 9.6 kilo bits per sec (kbps). On the other hand, 3G networks can transmit data at a rate of 64 kbps, and thus is more suitable for the transmission of video data.
However, despite the technological advancements in 3G networks, digital wireless telephony services and equipment using the GSM standard currently dominate the world market. For example, as of October 2004, more than 1 billion people use GSM wireless telephones, according to some the GSM association. GSM wireless telephony services and equipment account for approximately 70% of the world market in digital wireless telephony. In contrast, the 3G telephony services and equipment account for less than 9% of the world market.
In view of the foregoing, a manner of transmitting video data in the context of GSM networks is needed in order to capitalize on GSM's world market dominance.
The delivery of video through a GSM network is currently not feasible due to the low bandwidth afforded by GSM networks. When transmitting video frames along with voice data on GSM networks, it is difficult to achieve an acceptable quality in the resulting transmitted data.
According to certain embodiments, when silence (lack of audio data) is detected during a transmission connection for transmitting video frames together with audio data, the audio transmission is turned off in order to use the available bandwidth for transmitting video frames only. When both video data and audio data (such as voice data) are present, both types of data can be transmitted at the same time using the available bandwidth. However, the bit rate for the audio and video data may be adjusted based on the existing bandwidth constraints.
According to certain embodiments, in the absence of audio data, such as silence during a voice conversation, the audio transmission is temporarily turned off. The bandwidth that would have otherwise been relegated for audio transmission is made available for use for transmitting video frames on the GSM network. By using such a method, in combination with conventional video conferencing protocols like H.324 or its variants, 3G/324M, video and audio transmission of acceptable quality over the low bit rate GSM network can be achieved. Further, the transmission rate of video frames can be enhanced by only transmitting the Y luminance value of the video data.
For purposes of explanation, assume that an end-user (caller) wishes to make a video call to another party (callee). The caller begins by establishing a GSM video connection with the callee using a conventional GSM circuit. Once a connection is established (the call is connected), the terminals, such as the now connected telephones of the caller and callee, exchange information on the capabilities of each terminal using conference protocols. An example of a conference protocol is 324M. Assuming that the terminals are capable of establishing GSM video connections, once the connected terminals recognize each other, audio and video conferencing can begin by exchanging audio and video streams between the two terminals. During the video conference, audio data, such as voice data, is given higher transmission priority over video transmission. In other words, video transmission usually occurs using whatever bandwidth is leftover, if any. However, a method as described with reference to
The silence detecting mechanism constantly monitors for the absence or existence of audio data as well as any increase or decrease of video data so that audio data, when present, can be transmitted. At block 108, when audio data is detected, the transmission of audio data is resumed. The silence detecting mechanism that constantly monitors for an absence and presence of audio data and the mechanism for turning the audio transmission on and off may be the same mechanism or separate mechanisms and may vary from implementation to implementation.
As previously explained, the silence detecting mechanism for detecting the absence or presence of audio data performs the monitoring on a continuous basis for as long as the telephone call has not been terminated. The actions described with respect to blocks 102, 104 and 106 are repeated when the absence of audio data is again detected. Similarly, the actions of block 108 are repeated whenever audio data is detected.
According to certain embodiments, the silence detecting mechanism that constantly monitors for an absence or presence of audio data, the mechanism for turning the audio transmission on and off, and the mechanism for transmitting video data at maximum GSM bandwidth may be implemented on a single chip.
In certain other embodiments, the silence detecting mechanism that constantly monitors for an absence or presence of audio data, the mechanism for turning the audio transmission on and off, and the mechanism for transmitting video data at maximum GSM bandwidth may be implemented on more than one chip.
In the foregoing specification, embodiments of the invention have been described with reference to numerous specific details that may vary from implementation to implementation. The specification and drawings are, accordingly, to be regarded in an illustrative rather than a restrictive sense.